by Norman Warwick

Seeing the words Moscow Drug Club and accordion linked in the same sentence somehow made me realise I had never written on these pages about one of my favourite novels. However, let me firat dress the jazz as mentioned in a press release received from Jazz In Reading.

Fri 17 Dec at The Progress Theatre, Reading at 7:30pm

£18.00 (£16.00 concessions) plus maximum 5% booking fee

Moscow Drug Club Katya Gorrie vocals, Jonny Bruce trumpet,

Mirek Salmon accordion, Will Edmunds guitar, Andy Crowdy bass

Moscow Drug Club (left) is a curious musical place where certain elements of 1930’s Berlin Cabaret, Hot Club de France, Nuevo Tango & Gypsy Campfire meet, have a few to drink and stagger arm in arm into the darkness of some eastern European cobbled street on a mission to find the bar where Django Reinhardt & Tom Waits are having an after hours jam with the local Tziganes.

Combining their original material with songs by the likes of Jaques Brel, Leornard Cohen, Tom Waits & Eartha Kitt,  Moscow Drug Club provide an intoxicating & intimate musical experience. You are cordially invited to share a wry smile with us as you enter the darkly comic world of Moscow Drug Club…..this way please and mind the stairs!

The band is much in demand and has appeared at numerous festivals and venues such as WOMAD and the Royal Albert Hall. We are delighted to have been able to bring them back once more to the Progress Theatre.

Review comments include statements like “Absolute knock out performance!” “Artfully designed for success!” and “Best music entertainment we’ve ever seen!”   See why here

Accordions are a family of box-shaped musical instruments of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone type, colloquially referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist. The concertina and bandoneón are related. The harmonium and American reed organ are in the same family, but are typically larger than an accordion and sit on a surface or the floor.

The sound of the accordion is closely associated with folk music from Switzerland and Germany. The instrument can also be found in some Mexican music, thanks to a German presence in Mexico, which led to the introduction of accordions to that country. Many folksy Mexican dance bands feature an accordion player, as do the country´s Mariachi bands and folk groups.

In the United States the piano accordion is popularly used in folk music, though it also now being increasingly used, too, in popular music. In Brazil the accordion is even more popular than the guitar, and is used in pop music forms like the Forro and Setanejo.

The accordion remains frequently employed in German, Italian and Balkan music.

A posting on the BBC Bitesize web site reminds us, too, that the accordion is among the  instruments used in traditional folk music, include the fiddle, melodeon, and squeezebox. The pipe and tabor is also a part of the English folk tradition, as are regional instruments such as the Northumbrian Pipes.

Indeed, British Morris music is often played on a variety of “free-reed” instruments such as the accordion, melodeon and concertina.

Armed with that information it makes sense of the accordion being the central character in a sweeping, international saga written by Annie Proulx, a massively successful author who has seen many of her novels turned into hugely successful films.

A major feature on the author Annie Proulx, published in March 1999 by The Missouri Review, and conducted by a seemingly unattributed interviewer, included several references to Accordion Crimes.

Interviewer: Your stories and novels cover a lot of ground, historically and geographically. Accordion Crimes, for example, is set all over the United States and spans much of the twentieth century. Your new book Postcards concerns World War II and post-World War II America. Can you talk about that?

´Place and history are central to the fiction I write, both in the broad, general sense and in detailed particulars. Rural North America, regional cultures in critical economic flux, the images of an ideal and seemingly attainable world the characters cherish in their long views despite the rigid and difficult circumstances of their place and time. Those things interest me and are what I write about. I watch for the historical skew between what people have hoped for and who they thought they were and what befell them´.

Even Proulx´s novels and stories that aren’t strictly historical all have a sense of history and place somehow going together and being at the centre. When her interviewer made that observation, Prouls responded by saying:

´Much of what I write is set in contemporary North America, but the stories are informed by the past; I like stories with three generations visible. Geography, geology, climate, weather, the deep past, immediate events, shape the characters and partly determine what happens to them, although the random event counts for much, as it does in life. I long ago fell into the habit of seeing the world in terms of shifting circumstances overlaid upon natural surroundings. I try to define periods when regional society and culture, rooted in location and natural resources, start to experience the erosion of traditional ways, and attempt to master contemporary, large-world values. The characters in my novels pick their way through the chaos of change. The present is always pasted on layers of the past´.

Interviewer: You studied history at the University of Vermont and Sir George Williams University, now Concordia University, in Montreal. Was there a particular approach to history that most interested you?

´I was attracted to the French Annales school, which pioneered minute examination of the lives of ordinary people through account books, wills, marriage and death records, farming and crafts techniques, the development of technologies. My fiction reflects this attraction. While I was studying history I had no thought of writing fiction and no desire to do so.

The ´pivotal moment´ was not a moment at all but a slow, slow turning. I left graduate school and the study of history to live in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom with a friend. We were in a remote area with limited job possibilities; I started writing nonfiction, mostly magazine journalism and how-to books, for income. At the same time I began to write short fiction, mostly stories about hunting and fishing and rural life in northern New England, subjects that interested me intensely at the time. Almost all of these stories were published inGray’s Sporting Journal, then a new and strikingly beautiful quarterly concerned with the outdoor world in the same way Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories are about the outdoor world—the primary weight on literature, not sport. There was an intense camaraderie and shared literary excitement among the writers whose fiction appeared inGray’s, something I have never encountered since. It may have been that the struggles to get paid by Gray’s created a bond of shared adversity among the writers; it may have been the genuine pleasure in being part of this unusual publication that valued serious outdoor writing in contrast to the hook-and-bullet mags. It is hard to overestimate how important Gray’s was for many of us. Without it I would probably never have tried to write fiction.I continued writing short stories in a desultory way for the next five or six years. When my youngest son left home for school in the late 1980s, for the first time in my life I enjoyed long periods of unbroken time suited to concentrated work and began my novel, Postcards.

Asked about specific technique the author might apply to her either short stories or novels, Annie Proulx explained:

¨The construction of short stories calls for a markedly different set of mind than work on a novel, and for me short stories are at once more interesting and more difficult to write than longer work. The comparative brevity of the story dictates more economical and accurate use of words and images, a limited palette of events, fewer characters, tighter dialogue, strong title and punctuation that works to move the story forward. If the writer is trying to illustrate a particular period or place, a collection of short stories is a good way to take the reader inside a house of windows, each opening onto different but related views—a kind of flip book of place, time and manners.

The metaphors identified in my work are really a complex subject. What is involved in constructing them seems not so much a matter of seeking similitude or trying for explanation or description as multilevel word and image play. Metaphors set up echoes and reflections, not only of tone and color but of meaning in the story. The use of running metaphors in a piece—all related in some way to indigestion or water or loneliness or roller skates, or with a surrealistic or violent cast—will guide the reader in a particular direction as surely as stock can be herded. For me, metaphors come in sheets of three or four at once, in floods, and so metaphor use often concerns selection rather than construction. There are private layers of meaning in metaphor that may be obscure to the reader but which have—beyond the general accepted meanings of the words—resonance for the writer through personal associations of language, ideas, impressions. So the writer may be using metaphor to guide the reader and deepen the story, for subtle effects but also for sheer personal pleasure in word play.

I was very young, about three years old, when introduced to metaphor, and I remember the first sharp pleasure I felt in playing what seemed a kind of game. I was with my mother in the kitchen of our small house. Classical music came out of the radio, I have no idea what, some sweeping and lofty orchestral statement. I was not consciously listening until my mother, who was a skilled watercolorist, said, “What does this music make you think about, what do you see?” Immediately I translated the music I heard into an image. “A bishop running through the woods,” I answered. I had no idea what a bishop was but liked the word for its conjunction of hiss and hiccup. What the music made me see in my mind’s eye was a tall, glassy, salt-cellar figure—the bishop—gliding through a dark forest dappled with round spots of light. The connections of perception between the sounds of the music and the image of trees / slipping figure / broken light had been made. Thereafter, and forever more, I found myself constantly involved in metaphoric observation´.

Asked if she has a standard operating procedure in  the way she work, such as  starting with a sense of place, or history, or character and story, or whether that changes from book to book, Proulx seemed slightly uncertain.

´Where a story begins in the mind I am not sure—a memory of haystacks, maybe, or wheel ruts in the ruined stone, the ironies that fall out of the friction between past and present, some casual phrase overheard. But something kicks in, some powerful juxtaposition, and the whole book shapes itself up in the mind. I spend a year or two on the research and I begin with the place and what happened there before I fill notebooks with drawings and descriptions of rocks, water, people, names. I study photographs. From place come the characters, the way things happen, the story itself. For the sake of architecture, of balance, I write the ending first and then go to the beginning.

The research is on-going and my great pleasure. Since geography and climate are intensely interesting to me, much time goes into the close examination of specific regions—natural features of the landscape, human marks on it, earlier and prevailing economics based on raw materials, ethnic background of settlers.

I read manuals of work and repair, books of manners, dictionaries of slang, city directories, lists of occupational titles, geology, regional weather, botanists’ plant guides, local histories, newspapers. I visit graveyards, collapsing cotton gins, photograph barns and houses, roadways. I listen to ordinary people speaking with one another in bars and stores, in laundromats. I read bulletin boards, scraps of paper I pick up from the ground. I paint landscapes because staring very hard at a place for twenty to thirty minutes and putting it on paper burns detail into the mind as no amount of scribbling can do.

I thought it was great that her interviewer then asked the intriguing question about whether or not Annie had ever fallen in love with one or any of the characters she has created. 

¨I have never fallen in love with one of my characters. The notion is repugnant. Characters are made to carry a particular story; that is their work. The only reason one shapes a character to look as he or she does, behave and speak in a certain way, suffer particular events, is to move the story forward in a particular direction. I do not indulge characters nor give them their heads and “see where they go,” and I don’t understand writers who drift downriver in company with unformed characters. The character, who may seem to hold centre stage in a novel, and in a limited sense does, actually exists to support the story. This is not to say that writing a character is like building a model airplane. The thoughtful and long work of inventing a believable and fictionally “true” person on paper is exhilarating, particularly as one knowingly skates near the thin ice of caricature.

The character Loyal Blood in Postcards leaped complete and wholly formed from a 1930s Vermont state prison mug shot. A friend gave me a small stack of postcards sent out by the Windsor Prison warden’s office in the 1930s to alert various sheriffs around the state to escapees. I knew nothing of the man on my postcard, but his face was arresting and the character jumped forward at once. The story’s genesis was sparked by a small stack of state fire marshal’s reports during the Depression. There were a number of dismal accounts of farmers burning down their houses and barns for the meager insurance money. They had nothing else. From this desperate arson, with its roots in the global economic slump, emerged the story.

The failure of the limited economic base for a region, often the very thing that gave the region its distinctive character and social ways, is interesting to me. I frequently focus on the period when everything—the traditional economic base, the culture, the family and the clan links—begins to unravel. I have taken a fictional look at this situation in northern New England, Newfoundland and Wyoming. In Heart Songs I began to examine the decline of the small dairy farms that had been the backbone of northern New England’s economy since the late eighteenth century, but which began to break down after the Second World War and finally collapsed in recent decades as moneyed outsiders poured into the state. Postcards continued and enlarged on this theme, taking as its landscape the sweep of country from New England to California. The character Loyal Blood denies his natural calling as a farmer. He picks up a dozen different regional occupations on his long journey westward, an ironic and miniature version of the American frontier expansion westward. There is a subtext on the tremendously important rural electrification program. The novel was concerned with what happens when a region has only one economic base and it goes under—the breakup and scattering of families, the subdivision of land, the outflow of old residents or the new position they adopt as service providers to the rich moving in. A population shift of moneyed second-home owners began to replace seventh-generation farm families.

Shipping News and Close Range share similar concerns. If all you have is fishing and the fish stock begins to collapse from overfishing, destructive pressures, foreign and domestic policies, etc., what happens to the fishermen who have no other way to make a living? Relocation, government programs and the like. The Shipping News caught a Newfoundland fishing outport on the edge of the abyss. A few months after the novel was published, the Canadian government proclaimed a moratorium on cod fishing, and the traditional culture and economy quickly began to dissolve as thousands of out-of-work Newfoundlanders streamed onto the mainland, an exodus that continues. In Close Range, a collection of short stories set in Wyoming, the focus was again on rural landscape, low population density, people who feel remote and isolated, cut off from the rest of the world, where accident and suicide rates are high and aggressive behavior not uncommon. Fifty percent of the University of Wyoming’s graduation class must leave the state to find work. Again I was interested in looking at a limited economic structure—cattle ranching and extractive industries. What happens when the coal and oil run out, when the beef market falls away, when there are few chances outside the traditional ways of life? On a more intimate scale the stories explore human relationships and behavior, the individual caught in the whirlpool of change and chance

Her Interviewer returned to the subject of AccordionCrimes and how it added another layer to the issue of economic struggle by focusing on the immigrant experience in particular.

¨I was interested in the American character, unlike that of any other country—aggressive, protean, identity-shifting, mutable, restless and mobile. I wondered if the American penchant for self-invention was somehow related to the seminal immigrant experience, in which one had to renounce the past, give up the old culture, language, history, religion, even one’s birth name, and replace the old self with American ideals, language, a new name and new ways. The novel looked at several generations of nine ethnic families through the medium of the immigrant’s instrument, the accordion´.

This brought another piercing question from her interviewer of ´Do you believe that the ethnic variety of our nation—despite the “melting pot” history—is somehow forgotten or underappreciated´?

´A major aim in writing Accordion Crimes was to show the powerful government and social pressures on foreigners that forced them into the so-called melting pot. The social pressures were enormous, and the cost of assimilation was staggering for the immigrants—their lives were often untimely truncated. They did not belong, they were ridiculed outsiders, they worked at the most miserable and dangerous jobs. They gave up personal identification and respect. The successes went to their children, the first generation of American-born. These American children commonly rejected the values, clothing, language, religion, food, music of their parents in their zeal to be 100 percent American. Hence the widespread disdain in America (nowhere else) for the accordion. Canada allowed its immigrants a large measure of cultural autonomy, and ethnic enclaves and settlements grew up in many regions, the so-called ethnic mosaic that contrasts with the melting-pot symbolism. Ironically, it is Canada that is plagued now by a separatist movement.

My thinking does not sort out this way—”best,” “worst,” etc. The so-called melting pot is a vivid phrase that represented a dominant, narrow and forceful attitude in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. That social and cultural attitude had no tolerance for ethnic, cultural or linguistic diversity. Immigrants had to become “American” in order to succeed here. Many of them did not and could not conform to the American ideal, and they lived their lives in sometimes dangerous backwaters. It isn’t a question of whether or not it was the best thing for the nation or no. It was what it was, an expression of the American national character in that period. It was different in Canada—not better or worse, but different´.

Interviewer: I can’t resist asking you one question about your experience with Hollywood. I understand that your experience with making The Shipping News into a movie has been a little frustrating.

´I sold the film rights to The Shipping News several years ago and so have no influence on, connection with or input into the fate of the novel in Hollywood’s fumbling hands. It was important to me during the option negotiations to plead that the film be made in Newfoundland, and the studio signed a letter of intent to that end. The seesaw history of the work since then, the inaccurate reports, the gossip, the confusion, is best learned from other sources than me. I am out of the loop.

The film rights of the short story Brokeback Mountain, the closing story in the new collection Close Range, were optioned by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who wrote an exceptionally fine screenplay. What happens next with it remains to be seen.

´I don’t think prizes have affected me as much as they have my publisher. It is pleasant to have one’s work recognized and praised, and prizes certainly have an effect on the way the body of work is perceived, and on one’s income, but for me, when the manuscript of a story or novel is completed I am done with it and on to new work. I have a feeling of detachment for awards, perhaps because they come a year or more after publication, perhaps because it is difficult to believe that the work is considered prize-worthy. I am critical of my writing and tend to see the flaws and weaknesses. The best time for an award would be the instant one finally makes a stubborn paragraph or sentence lift its own weight off the page.

The importance of the Response of readers . . . depends on which readers you mean. Readers come in a highly variable assortment—critics, other writers, old friends, fans, reading groups, adversaries, error-chasers, punctuation mavens, clever scholars, those who deeply understand the territory of the book or story, those who don’t get any of it. Probably I value the response of fellow writers most highly because they understand the work of making fiction. But fine letters have come from every kind of reader, and I am grateful for them.

Änovel should take us, as readers, to a vantage point from which we can confront our human condition, where we can glimpse something of what we are. A novel should somehow enlarge our capacity to see ourselves as living entities in the jammed and complex contemporary world´.

Interviewer: You have been criticized by some for overemphasizing the bad luck and failure of you characters—for not finding the mitigating factor in their lives, if only in the way you frame their stories.

´It is difficult to take this as a serious criticism. America is a violent, gun-handling country. Americans feed on a steady diet of bloody movies, television programs, murder mysteries. Road rage, highway killings, beatings and murder of those who are different abound; school shootings—almost all of them in rural areas—make headline news over and over. Most of the ends suffered by characters in my books are drawn from true accounts of public record: newspapers, accident reports, local histories, labor statistics for the period and place under examination. The point of writing in layers of bitter deaths and misadventures that befall characters is to illustrate American violence, which is real, deep and vast´.

Interviewer: The rural farmers of Heart Songs, the unlucky owners of the accordion in Accordion Crimes, the fatalistic westerners in Close Range: they’re on the ragged edge, and often—too often, some critics would say—they fall off.

´Immigrants to this country suffered unbelievable damage, both psychological and physical. Rural life, too, is high in accident and, for many, suffused with a trapped feeling, a besetting sense of circumstances beyond individual control. Real rural life, enlivened with clear air, beautiful scenery, close-knit communities and cooperative neighbors, builds self-reliant, competent, fact-facing people; but it is also riddled with economic failure, natural disaster, poor health care, accidental death, few cultural opportunities, narrow worldviews, a feeling of being separated from the larger society. Literary critics who live and work in urban and suburban milieus characterized by middle-class gentility and progressive liberalism are rarely familiar with the raw exigencies and pressures of rural life.

I am reminded of the uproar of disapproval over historian Michael Lesy’s 1973 Wisconsin Death Trip, the author’s gathering of newspaper accounts of nineteenth-century economic failure, madness, hoboes, suicide and murder in company with the extraordinary photographs by Charley Van Schaick. Real lives, real events, which displeased the many critics who denounced the book’s darkness as distortion of history. One protesting group got out a rival collection of photographs entitled Wisconsin Life Trip, showing happy families, picnics, affection and peace. There is something in us that wants to believe in sweet harmony against all evidence.
Since I am often accused of writing darkly, I might add that although I am not immune to the flashes of humor and intense moments of joy that illuminate our lives, I am in deep sympathy with Paul Fussell when he describes seeing his first dead in Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic, ” . . . and suddenly I knew that I was not and never would be in a world that was reasonable or just´.

Interviewer: Do you think that serious fiction, by definition, ends unhappily?

¨No, of course not. I would like to get beyond this happy / unhappy-ending discussion, which seems to me to have more the character of trap than open door. It is very difficult to know what is “happy” or “unhappy.” I wrote The Shipping News in direct response to the oft-repeated criticism that Postcards was “too dark.” Ah, I said to myself, a happy ending is wanted, is it? Let us see what we can do. The “happy” ending of Shipping News is constructed on a negative definition—here happiness is simply the absence of pain, and so, the illusion of pleasure. I was quite surprised when readers and critics alike rejoiced in what they perceived as a joyful upbeat. The label “happy” is comparative, subjective, sometimes deliberately illusory, sometimes—as in Shipping News—ironic or not what it seems. In working endings for stories and novels I try simply for a natural cessation of story. Most of my writing focuses on a life or lives set against a particular time and place. This is the nature of things, and, though it sounds simplistic, this is what shapes my view of the past and present, both as related to my personal life and the lives of characters. One is born, one lives in one’s time, one dies. I try to understand place and time through the events in a character’s life, and the end is the end. The person, the character, is one speck of life among many, many. The ending, then, should reflect for the reader some element of value or importance in the telling of this ending among the possible myriad of stories that might have been told

In print that interview from a quarter of a century ago still sounds vibrant and penetrating and I look forward to reading a current exchange that might shed light on which, if any, of the views expressed might have softened or hardened.

The interview neither adds to or detracts from my enjoyment of Accordion Crimes but I think we do learn from the above interview that the topics addressed in the novel, if drawn like one of those cricket graphs that shows what parts of the boundary a batsman has hit the ball to, would similarly look like spokes on a bicycle wheel. It is fascinating to learn that Annie Proulx pretty much seemed to know where every shot was going to land.

I am reminded of the book Accordion Crimes every time I hear Richard Thompson (right), one of my favourite British songwriters, sing Don´t Sit On My Jimmy Shands.

´Jimmy Shand´ was a Scottish musician who played traditional Scottish dance music on the accordion. His signature tune was “The Bluebell Polka”.

James Shand was born in East Wemyss in Fife, Scotland, son of a farm ploughman turned coal miner and one of nine children. The family soon moved to the burgh of Auchtermuchty. The town now boasts a larger than life-sized sculpture of Shand. His father was a skilled melodeon player. Jimmy started with the mouth organ and soon played the fiddle. At the age of 14 he had to leave school and go down the mines. He played at social events and competitions. His enthusiasm for motor-bikes turned into an advantage when he played for events all round Fife. In 1926, he did benefit gigs for striking miners and was consequently prevented from returning to colliery work. One day Shand and a friend were admiring the instruments in the window of a music shop in Dundee. His friend said: “It wouldn’t cost you to try one,” so Shand walked in and strapped on an accordion. The owner, Charles Forbes, heard Shand play and immediately offered him a job as travelling salesman and debt-collector. He soon acquired a van and drove all over the north of Scotland. He switched to the British chromatic button accordion, an instrument he stuck with for the rest of his life.

He failed an audition for the BBC because he kept time with his foot. At a time when gramophones were very much luxury items he made two records for the Regal Zonophone label in 1933. His career took off when he switched to making 78s for the Beltona label (1935–1940). Most of the Beltona recordings were solo, but he experimented with small bands. This boosted sales. He appeared in a promo film shown in cinemas. While the image showed his fingers moving in a blur, Shand was disappointed to hear the sound track playing a slow air.. On New Year’s Day morning in 1945 he made his first broadcast with Jimmy Shand and his Band. This was the first of many such BBC radio and television appearances.

Soon after the war he became a full-time musician, and adopted a punishing life-style later adopted by rock bands] He would play Inverness one night, London the next night and still drive the van back to bed in DundeeHe took his trademark bald head, Buddy Holly spectacles and full kilted regalia, Scottish reels, jigs and strathspeys to Australia, New Zealand and North America, including Carnegie Hall in New York. Now on the EMIParlophone label, he released one single per month in the mid 1950s, including his only top 20 hit in the UK Singles Chart –The Bluebell Polka (1955). It was produced by George Martin, of later fame with The beatles of course.. Jimmy Shands was awarded an MBE in 1962. This period is remembered affectionately by Richard Thompson, who played Shand tunes on his Henry the Human Fly and Strict Tempo! albums. Thompson’s Scottish father had been a keen Shand collector. In 1991, Thompson paid tribute to Shand with an original song, Don’t Sit On My Jimmy Shands, from his 1991 album Rumor and Sigh.

Call me precious I don’t mind. 78s are hard to find

You just can’t get the shellac since the war

This one’s the Beltona brand. Finest label in the land

They don’t make them like that any more.

In 1972, Shand went into semi-retirement. From then he played only small venues in out-of-the-way places for a reduced fee. He was made a freeman of Auchtermuchty in 1974, North East Fife in 1980 and Fife in 1998. He became Sir Jimmy Shand in 1999. His portrait is in the Scottish National Gallery, close to Niel Gow. In 1983, he released a retrospective album with the cheeky title The First 50 Years. At the age of 88, he recorded an album and video with his son, Dancing with The Shands.

More than 330 compositions are credited to Jimmy Shand. He recorded more tracks than the Beatles and Elvis Presley combined. In 1985, British Rail named a locomotive Jimmy Shand. He was dissatisfied with the chromatic button-key accordions available on the market in the 1940s so he designed his own one. The Hohner company manufactured the “Shand Morino” (right) until the 1970s. He is the only artist worldwide to have his name used by the Hohner company as a model name for a musical instrument. There is a biography The Jimmy Shand Story: The King of Scottish Dance Music by Ian Cameron (2001). A number of his older recordings have been re-released by Beltona Records.

I reckon if Accordion Crimes by Annie Proulx ever goes to a second edition with added chapters, Jimmie Shands and his Shand Morino accordion might just find themselves as central characters.. So, too, might Moscow Drug Club from the leafy glades of England !

On air sign background


Hot Biscuits Jazz show, presented by Steve Bewick (left), features next week the guitar led Jazz fusion Trio of Tasos Gkoumas. We also have sounds from Emma Black singing about the `paupers grave`. Mick Phillipson R&B guitarist, with `Isolation blues`. Big brass sounds come from Frank Griffith‘s Nonet and jazz fusion with the Big band sounds of Jazz Colossus. If this sounds interesting then share it with your friends. Join us on Wednesday, or Thursday at 9pm, (GMT) or late Saturday at 11pm (GMT) at www.fc-radio.co.uk For archives of my past shows go to www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick

The primary sources for this article was an interview with Annie Proulx originally conducted and posted by The Missouri Review. We are also grateful to Jazz In Reading and Hot Biscuits Jazz Show for listing details.

In our occasional re-postings Sidetracks And Detours are confident that we are not only sharing with our readers excellent articles written by experts but are also pointing to informed and informative sites readers will re-visit time and again. Of course, we feel sure our readers will also return to our daily not-for-profit blog knowing that we seek to provide core original material whilst sometimes spotlighting the best pieces from elsewhere, as we engage with genres and practitioners along all the sidetracks & detours we take.

This article was collated by Norman Warwick, a weekly columnist with Lanzarote Information and owner and editor of this daily blog at Sidetracks And Detours.

Norman has also been a long serving broadcaster, co-presenting the weekly all across the arts programme on Crescent Community Radio for many years with Steve, and his own show on Sherwood Community Radio. He has been a regular guest on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio 4.

As a published author and poet he was a founder member of Lendanear Music, with Colin Lever and Just Poets with Pam McKee, Touchstones Creative Writing Group (where he was creative writing facilitator for a number of years) with Val Chadwick and all across the arts with Robin Parker.

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The Lanzarote Art Gallery                  https://lanzaroteartgallery.com

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